Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Someone is Making Money

Interesting story here.  Arianna Huffington is being sued by bloggers who created free content for her site, which she recently sold for $315 million.

So, let me get this straight.  If you create content for free, whether out of passion or because you think it will lead to paying work, someone else is going to take what you've done and try to make money off of it regardless?  Really, I've done plenty of free work and I understand how it is used in the entertainment industry to grow your career, work with awesome people or do things that you may not have been able to do otherwise.   I still do free work for people I know and like, it's fun to have a shared passion with old and new friends.

But, it's not a business model.  Unless you can make up for the no income part with volume.  I am constantly amazed that there are people out there who don't understand that if you don't make money, you won't be creative because you aren't sustainable.  Being able to sustainably support yourself is an ongoing radical act of creativity. When you're 25 and living in your parents' house it doesn't seem so important but it gets clearer as time passes.

Surprisingly, to people who take a  more black and white view of life, I welcome the new world into which we are heading:  low-cost or free content, aggregated by companies and fed back to consumers at a profit.  It's what people seem to want, and the idea that people are interested in what each other have to say is encouraging.  Even if what they have to say isn't always well-formulated or presented in an artful visual manner, there are some moments of real clarity that come out of this cauldron of living culture.   

My only message is: keep your eyes open, and make wise choices for yourself.

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